Beef shin ragu

I love going out for meals in Islington.

You have the awesome cocktails at John Salt, the BEST Sunday roast at The Drapers Arms and the best value 3 course meals at LeCoq all just a couple of minutes walk away from the station,

However, my most memorable dish in Islington has to be the beef shin ragu from Trullo. Rich, silky and oh so addictive, it is (dare I say it), the best pasta dish in London.

I’ve tried to replicate this at home with mixed success. However, recently I found a recipe from Lady Aga, which seems to do the trick!

Recipe (adapted from


  • 2 large carrots, finely diced
  • 1/2 head of celery, finely diced
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely diced
  • 1 small can of anchovies
  • 2 tins of tomatoes
  • Half a bottle of red wine
  • 1 kg of beef shin (on the bone)
  • A pinch of salt, pepper and sage
  • Small knob of butter
  • Teaspoon of cider vinegar
  • Pinch of sugar


  • Place a deep saucepan on a high heat and pour in a good glug of olive oil
  • Once the saucepan is smoking, brown the beef shin to seal in the juices. Do not overcook the meat as it will become tough
  • Once the beef shin is sufficiently coloured, remove from the saucepan and set aside on a plate. Leave the shin on the bone – as the meat cooks, the bone marrow will ooze out, giving the ragu additional flavour!
  • Turn down the heat on the saucepan and saute the garlic, carrots, onions and celery
  • Once the onions soften (5 minutes or so), place the beef shin, anchovies, chopped tomatoes and red wine into the saucepan


  • The anchovies seem to be the magic ingredient and adds that unique umaminess needed to lift this dish
  • Season with salt, pepper, sage,
  • Cover with a lid and cook on a slow heat for 3 hours, stirring occasionally
  • The ragu is ready once the meat falls off the bone. Remove the bone from the ragu and serve the ragu with al-dente papardelle
  • Alternatively, leave the ragu overnight to allow the flavours to intensify!

This ragu also goes wondefully well with rice, toast, salad and gets beter the longer you leave it!




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